Communal clashes: Senators Egwu, Abba Morro sue for peace in Benue, Ebonyi
The lingering communal clashes between certain communities in Benue and Ebonyi states can only be resolved amicably and not by killings.
Former Ebonyi State governor and Senator representing Ebonyi North, Sam Egwu and his colleague representing Benue South, Abba Moro, gave the admonition on Wednesday at a joint press briefing.
In recent times, clashes between the people of Ohaukwu and Ado LGAs in Ebonyi and Benue states respectively have led to the loss of lives.
The two senators appealed to the people to sheath their swords and allow officials of the National Boundary Commission to intervene.
They however expressed disaffection over the comments by Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi which exonerated Fulani herdsmen over the killings in Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State where 12 innocent indigenes were killed, 5 persons reportedly kidnapped and over 56 houses burnt.
Governor Umahi had fingered the people in Agila for the attacks.
“This claim, which has the potential of heightening the tension between the two communities has long been refuted and denied by the Chairman of Ado LGA and the Government of Benue State. The people of Ado LGA who have been victims of herdsmen attacks in recent times couldn’t have hired the same people to carry out an attack on their behalf.
“There have been sustained efforts on our part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years. Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities.
“We urge security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed rebeaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission.
“We therefore urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts”.
The two federal lawmakers also proffered similar solutions for the Ezza/ Effium crisis .
They said: “On the Ezza/Effium crisis, which started in Effium community in Ebonyi state and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effiumites in Ado LGA, it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighboring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby creating apprehension in those neighboring communities.
“The alleged abduction of Five Elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday has heightened the tension between the affected communities. However, the timely intervention of the government to contain the situation has prevented any form of retaliation or reprisal attack. It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter.
“We therefore call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government Agencies to take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate of all adopted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities.
“We urge our people in the affected communities to please apply restraint, avoid all forms of violence, maintain peaceful coexistence and rest assured that we will do everything within our power and influence to ensure the restoration of lasting peace in the affected communities” .
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